New Scottish Stock Exchange appoints trading boss

Andy Clarkson

Project Heather, the firm creating a new Scottish Stock Exchange based in Edinburgh’s Geoge Street, on Monday announced another senior appointment to its executive team.

Former Aberdeen Standard Investments executive Andy Clarkson is joining Project Heather as Head of Market Operations to oversee all operational aspects of trading, clearing and settlement activities.

“Working with member firms, technology partners and vendors, Andy will ensure quality and integrity across our processes and platforms,” said Project Heather.

“He will work with Helen Webster, Chief Operating Officer, in bringing the exchange to operational readiness.”

The new exchange originally targeted a launch in the second half of 2019 but Scottish Financial Review understands the opening may now happen early next year, with Project Heather saying only: “The exchange expects to launch following receipt of approval from the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority.”

One of Clarkson’s initial roles will be to oversee the acceptance testing of the proposed exchange’s trading platform.

Clarkson brings 30 years’ experience in asset management at Scottish Widows Investment Partnership, Aberdeen Asset Management and finally Aberdeen Standard Investments, where he was also Head of Market Operations.

Webster said: “I’m delighted to welcome Andy to the team at Project Heather.

“He brings valuable experience of the operating environment that will be crucial as we enter the critical testing stages of our trading platform.

“We look forward to announcing further appointments as the Project Heather team continues to grow.”

The exchange says it will will be “the first recognised investment exchange worldwide which will mandate issuers to measure and publish their positive social and environmental impact before listing, and report annually thereafter.”

The exchange’s operating platform will be supplied by Euronext, the largest European stock market operator.

Euronext will provide a cloud-based, electronic listing and trading environment with price dissemination, order-entry and execution, clearing and settlement available through the platform, accessible to institutions worldwide already connected to Euronext.

The new exchange will partner with Euro CCP for counterparty services and Euroclear for clearing services.

In May, Project Heather confirmed the support of Scottish Enterprise via a Regional Selective Assistance grant, following a successful fundraising coordinated via AAB advisers.

In March, Aberdeen-based chartered accountants and business advisors Anderson Anderson & Brown LLP (AAB) said it secured a “significant seven figure equity investment” for Project Heather to support the re-launch of a Scottish Stock Exchange after almost 50 years.